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Records That Stay Near The Player

  For the tenth annviersary of EvilSponge, i asked the various Minions to think about things in a few categories. This is one of them, and in some ways the most obvious category. We review records here, and we try and write the reviews with an eye towards the long-term enjoyability of each record. But what records, really, are the ones that hte minions keep coming back to? let's see what they say.  
Indoor Miner:

Singles that Stay Hear the Turntable:

Joy & Pain – Donna Allen (1988)
HOld Your Head Up – Argent (1972)
Devil's Answer – Atomic Rooster (1971)
Lady Madonna – The Beatles (1968)
More Than the Sun – Black (1984)
Ashes To Ashes – David Bowie (1980)
Alley-Oop – Hollywood Argyles (1960)
Empire State Human – Human League (1979)
Driving Away From Home – It’s Immaterial (1986)
White Night – The Lines (1978)
Touch – Lori & the Chameleons (1979)
Woodstock – Matthews Southern Comfort (1970)
Spanish Stroll – Mink Deville (1977)
Ice Cream – New Young Pony Club (2007)
Fake – Alexander O’Neal (1987)
Paraffin Brain – The Nightingales (1982)
Godstar – Psychic TV (1986)
I Love You Suzanne – Lou Reed (1984)
Rock And Roll Is Dead – The Rubinoos (1977)
Sleepwalk – Santo & Johnny (1959)
Cities In Dust – Siouxsie & the Banshees (1985)
Controversial – Slime (1978)
Charlton Heston – Stump (1988)
A Lover’s Concerto – The Toys (1965)
Making Plans For Nigel – XTC (1979)

Mr. Pharmacist:

I don't own a record player, but I do have some muzac that sticks to the heart. Funny, but things that go down easy seldom stick. Stuff you rassle with seems to linger, for good or ill. Here's some of my fave rasslin partners. I wonder if in the age of single song downloads this whole album experience is being lost. Oh, and as an aside, being a bit Freudian in my approach to all things, one could argue that those things we listen to again and again reflect the aesthetic experience we had with the first aesthetic object, dear old mom. The music of her voice, the ways she held and dropped you, the background music dad and sibs provided, etc. All this is bound in our favorite music. So, take a look at the stuff you return to again and again. It speaks to your history and how that history creates what's in your head. You sick bastards..........

  1. Substance by Joy Division
    A compilation, but seemed to catch my head and still does. Mom, what did you do to me?
  2. Dead Letter Office by R.E.M.
    Made me less ashamed to be a Southerner. Song of the South goes to graduate school. Mom could jangle when she wanted to...
  3. 154 by Wire
    Oblique pop. Sort of cold as well. A distant winter happy. Mom was a wire monkey?
  4. Iannis Xenakis 1: Chamber Music 1955-1990
    Wild, wild stuff. Terror set to strings and exhilarating. Trauma is soooo cool!
  5. Beauty Is a Rare Thing: The Complete Atlantic Recordings
    Blew my mind. Open the world to chaos as melody. Maybe it'll all be okay Mom? In the vein of best moments we never wrote about, heck, just about everything brilliant I ain't murdered in words.

The records that i keep coming back to are an ecelctic mix. For some reason, these all resonate with me.

  1. Victorialand by Cocteau Twins
    The most beautiful thing i have ever heard. I still love just sitting and listening to this record.
  2. The Smiths by the Smiths
    In high school a friend gave me a dubbed copy of this cassette. I wore it out from overplay, so i bought a copy on cassette. I wore that out by 1990, and bought the recordon vinyl, so i could record it onto cassette myself. I know every crooning word that Morrissey sings on this album, and despite it's generally morose tone, the music here never fails to bring a smile to my face.
  3. The Story of the Clash by The Clash
    Tracers gave me a used copy of this compilation at some point circa 1994 or 1995, and i listened to it a lot. Now, when i listen to Clash albums, the songs seem out of order, because i expect to here them in this order.
  4. Foolish by Superchunk
    Jjust out of college, i was driving to the CD store one night, and Album88 played Driveway to Driveway. I sat in the parking lot at the old CD store near Oglethorpe, let this finish, then went in and bought a copy. I know every single note on this record, and consider it to be the epitome of 1990s American indie rock.
  5. Seance by The Church
    I loved Starfish when it came out, and after seeing them on that tour i delved into their back catalog. This is a delicate, dreamy album with some really great pop tunes on it. Tt was my record of choice for a relaxing late night walk during my 4 years in college, and still brings to mind that sort of warm twilighty feeling.
  6. U.F.Orb by The Orb
    In the early 1990s i worked at DCA, a modem manufacturer that used to be up off off Windward Parkway, north of Atlanta. I coordinated the inventory, having a largely desk job on a production floor. And we had Usenet, which is used to crawl through the music groups back in the days before "www". Brits kept talking about this album, and i eventually tracked down a copy. It blew me away on first listen, and Towers of Dub is still a personal favorite track of all time.
  7. Midgets with Guns by Pain
    Pain were a ska-punk ban from Tuscaloosa, Alabama that used to play around Atlanta a lot in the 1990s. The Minions, before we were Minions, used to go and see them often. They never disappointed live, and all of their records, this is the one i keep coming back to. It has their anthem Fight on it, and to this day at parties i can cry out "Everybody loves to fight" and the masses will yell back "FIGHT!" while pumping their fists in the air. Plus, they have a song that references Army of Darkness and The Flash, how cool is that?
  8. Emergency and I by The Dismemberment Plan
    I first saw The Plan right after this came out, at the old Echo Lounge. They blew me away live, and I ended up listening to this album a LOT.
  9. Darklands by The Jesus and Mary Chain
    This album still blows me away to this day, with its slow bluesy songs.
  10. Substance by New Order
    This might be considered a compilation by many, but for suburban American teens in that era it was the first real New Order porduct that many of us had ever seen. And it was a powerhouse that holds up to this day.

The following may not be the best record of the last ten years, but they're pretty close to being my favorite records, at least based on the amount of airplay they get at home. These are in no particular order, except that this is the way they're currently stacked, which means that the ones at the top get listened to the most:

  1. Way Out by The Possibilities
  2. Impeccable Blahs by Say Hi To Your Mom
  3. Day of the Ray by The Deathray Davies
  4. All Your Summer Songs by Saturday Looks Good to Me
  5. Wildlife by Headlights
  6. These are Good Times by The High Strung
  7. Wild Like Children by Tilly and the Wall
  8. The Cost of Living by Sharks and Minnows
  9. A Child But in Life Yet a Doctor in Love by Magic Bullets
  10. Make Out by The Rosebuds
  11. Night Light by Hitchhike
  12. The Jupiter Watts by The Jupiter Watts
  13. Live at Shea Stadium by The Clash
  14. Dinosaurs Turn Into Birds by The Silent Kids
  15. Seconds before the Accident by The Archers of Loaf
  Well, there you have it. These are the records that define who the Minions are. Quite a eclectic bunch.  
Related Links:
  Other links relating to EvilSponge's Tenth Anniversary:
Statistics on EvilSponge's web presence.
The danger of being a music reviewer.
The EvilSponge Family Photo.
PostLibyan's essay on the nature of EvilSponge.
Malimus's essay on the first decade of EvilSponge.
Indoor Miner's list of the 25 best records of the decade.
Indoor Miner's list of the 100 best songs of the decade.
Meta commentary.
Best quotes from our first 10 years.
Various Minions list Records that Stay Near the Stereo.
Various Minions collect anecdotes about the music biz.

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